KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysians have another opportunity to catch a glimpse of the Supermoon, a phenomenon where the full moon will appear the largest and its distance is closer to the earth, starting at 11.53pm tonight.
Head of Space Science Research Unit, National Space Agency (Angkasa) Zahira Mohd Radzi said the phenomenon occurs when the Moon’s position is the closest to the Earth (in its perigee) with a distance of 356,761km.
She said the phenomenon is visible to the naked eye and the moon will look bigger and clearer than usual.
“In fact, for this year, this phenomenon occurs on three occasions ... the first time was in January, the second time would be tonight and the third time would be on March 21.
“Hence, starting 11.53pm tonight the public could witness the biggest full moon with their own eyes anywhere, depending on the condition of the weather,“ she said when contacted by Bernama here today.
Zahira added the phenomenon was a common occurrence due to the Moon’s continuous movement that orbits the Earth every year.
Meanwhile, the astronomy panellist of Islamic Development Department of Malaysia (Jakim) Datuk Dr Mohd Zambri Zainuddin said, tonight’s Supermoon would be slightly smaller than the Supermoon on Nov 14, 2016, when it was closer to the Earth at 356,445km.
“Usually, (during Supermoon) the size of the Moon would appear between 12.5% to 14.1% larger and 30% brighter than Mikromoon (when the Moon in the orbit farthest from the Earth or apogee position) and in comparison to the normal full moon, Supermoon will be 16% brighter,“ he said. — Bernama